COP20 briefing #2 | Global Greens

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COP20 briefing #2

The Greens/EFA group's Terhi Lehtonen, Advisor on Environmental Issues, gives her 2nd briefing from COP20, (1st briefing).  Read more blogs about the climate negotiations at: 

COM briefing

Commissioner Canete and Presidency Environment minister La Camera briefed the EP delegation Members for the first time on Monday evening. The change from previous Commissioner in terms of presenting the EU and Commission role and ambition in negotiations was striking.

Commissioner Canete welcomend the Co-chairs two new texts, and explained that the biggest problem is still around the differentiation, or firewall between Annex I countries and developing countries as described in the Convention. EU does not accept a 1992 situation to be applied for post-2020 period.

The most important issue for Lima results is the decision on INDCs, and the biggest concerns for EU are around finance. A third priority is on the international consideration and assessment procedure.

Commissioner Canete went through the key paragraphs for EU in the draft COP decision text (attached in yesterdays note), i.e. paragraph 11 a) which is clear that mitigation commitments apply for all and 11 b) which applies a differentiation stating that Parties with greatest responsibility and those with sufficient capability are expected to take on absolute economy-wide mitigation targets, and that all Parties should aspire to this over time, guided by the principles of the Convention.

The paragraph 12 provides for a voluntary adaptation component in the INDCs  Commissioner said the EU does not like adaptation is in INDCs, it cannot be measured and countries need to set their adaptation objectives for themselves.

The Commissioner said that EU does not like the paragraph 14 which provides that developed country Parties should consider annual quantitative contributions on means of implementation [finance] from 2019 to support in particularly vulnerable countries. The Commissioner said that the Annexes are worse, and that EU wants to remove the Annexes.

Canete welcomed the strengthening of the international process to consider the INDCs in paragraphs 18-21, but said that he is unconvinced about the usefulness of the Forum (to consider pre-2020 implementation and increasing ambition).

He said that the activities provided for in paragraphs 25-35 have monetary implications, which is a problem for the Member States.

Big problems that Commissioner sees in the text are the Annex 4 options that continue to include finance, it is therefore the position of EU is to take away the Annex [he probably admitted more than his brief would have allowed].

As regards the elements of draft negotiation text he said he would wish for more consolidation. He said there is no progress on how mitigation obligations are differentiated between Parties.

EU agrees with a longterm goal of decarbonisation but finds carbon budgets not agreeable.

In general Canete highlights two positives of the meeting: nobody questions the science and that there is optimism.

When questioned on finance and why EU is so stubborn on the paragraph on finance, where it is not linked to the INDCs, is voluntary and starts only in 2019, Canete said that EU is already fulfilling its commitments, we are contributing most to the GCF initial capitalisation (4,8 billion of the 9,95 billion USD committed). Canete said that finance will be the last that will be decided (in Paris).

When questioned on the science and about the EU position against carbon budgets  which is the 5AR approach  Canete said that science means 2C and accepting anthropogenic sources of climate change. He said carbon is political.

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ADP Contact Group

The Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) contact group convened to discuss the way forward on the new text presented this morning. The Co-chair Artur Runge-Metzger explained the process of how the Co-chairs have arrived at the texts.

As regards the draft elements on the future agreement, parts K, L, M and A, B, and C had still not been finished in the first round of Parties comments, hence the contact group would reconvene to hear parties views on those parts and a new version would be issued for Tuesday.

As regards the draft COP decision on advancing the Durban Platform, the Co-chairs said it reflect the discussion in last weeks contact groups, and that it would be the basis for detailed textual negotiations in the afternoon, with the aim to agree it by Thursday under ADP and put it forward for the COP plenary for adoption.

The Co-chairs invited parties to exchange at high level on the key issue of differentiation.

Bolivia for G77, China, Venezuela, Algeria, Equador, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Nicaragua, and many other developing country groupings took the floor thereafter to protest the fact that the draft Decision did not present the options put forward by Parties, but was tabled as a clean document. The same groups also questioned the legal nature of the draft elements text, for which a placeholder Annex was introduced in the draft COP decision text.

Co-chair Runge-Metzger explained that the elements of the draft negotiation text is not expected to be concluded in Lima, however the draft COP decision text will have to capture the outcome of Lima meeting.

Norway and Sudan for the African group took a more constructive approach and expressed willingness to work on the basis of the new draft text, nothing that the compilation document that represents all Parties submissions is 160 pages long.

In the afternoon contact group on the draft COP decision, Co-chair Kishan Kumarsingh attempted to open the paragraph / paragraph consideration from paragraph 8 and INDCs, as the paragraphs 1-7 reflect issues that had not been discussed under the draft elements non-paper by parties yet. China took the floor to protest and insisted on starting from the preambular part. The Parties took then several hours to discuss the preambular references to Convention principles and references to previous decisions. Noting parties inability to move beyond some bracketed preambular paragraphs over a three-hour contact group session, ADP Co-Chair Kumarsingh emphasized that the remaining three days of negotiationsare counting down.

Terhi Lehtonen



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